3 Ways To Reduce Tool Theft In Construction

10 min. read, June 2024

How to Reduce Tool Theft In Construction

While vans are highly susceptible to crime, they are not the only place tools are stolen from. Theft from building sites and as a result of warehouse break-ins are even more common.

Research from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB)* shows that 63% of thefts occurs on site, followed by 37% from vehicles.

The crime can’t be completely eliminated, but there are a number of ways you can reduce the risk of it happening and even soften the impact with Hilti.


reduce tool theft

Visible security systems & locks

Van thefts are extremely common and one of the best ways to address this threat is through improved locks. Adding an extra layer of security by installing a heavy-duty lock won’t deter all criminals, but it will make your van a harder target which can be off-putting for opportunistic criminals.

You can also choose to add further security systems to your van including visible CCTV which can act as a deterrent. The same goes for warehouses and building sites where complementing better locks with visible security systems can help reduce the prospect of crime even further.

However, sometimes thieves can’t be put off, and with enough determination any system can be broken eventually. To guard against that possibility, you could consider using an asset management system which will allow you to track any stolen goods from the second they leave your van, building site or construction warehouse.

hilti asset management

Asset management systems for equipment

It is hard to track where your tools are using old fashioned spreadsheet-based systems, especially if you are operating across multiple locations. Tools get passed around and it quickly becomes impossible to know who is using what, or where everything is from moment-to-moment.

This is a vulnerability which enables thieves to get away with stealing your tools more easily. It also makes recovering those tools after the theft much harder.

The solution includes our Gateways Portfolio consisting of Van Gateways for real-time checks of vehicle contents, Telematics Gateways for your Heavy Plant to see how and where it is being used, and our Stationary Gateways that provide you with real-time transparency on what equipment you have in your warehouses/jobsites and even containers.

Each item gets a unique ID with which you can track items manually through barcode scanning.  Or you can add Hilti inventory scanners (gateways) for even more powerful active tracking of all Bluetooth®-equipped assets and remote inventory control. If equipment with our smart tags is lost or stolen, hope is not lost yet - you can use our new "Lost and Found" feature that starts a 24/7 search for your equipment via our global Gateways Network & ON!Track Apps. Once found, ON!Track will notify you about the location, how long it was seen and by what means it was found.

This includes our Van Gateway system for real-time checks of vehicle contents, and our Telematics Gateway so you can see how and where your heavy equipment is being used. 

ways to reduce theft

Lease tools and reduce your risk

Tools are an expensive investment and the cost of replacing stolen equipment can hit any contractor hard.

However, Hilti’s Fleet Management makes it possible to get the tools required for any job without the substantial outlay of buying everything brand new. For a monthly fee, you can lease equipment from Hilti in the same way you would lease heavy equipment.

By leasing through our Fleet Management solution, you get free repairs, ongoing maintenance and timely upgrades to the latest products when the tools reach the end of their life.

Best of all, Fleet Management also offers you protection against tool theft by covering up to 80% of the value of any stolen tools. Additionally, all tools will be registered to you and our repair centre will automatically notify you if stolen tools come in for maintenance.

While it is impossible to eliminate the risk of tool theft entirely, Hilti’s ON!Track asset management software and our Fleet Management tool leasing system allow you to cut out much of the risk and insure your business against crime as much as possible – all while improving productivity and cutting construction costs.